Thursday, March 31, 2016

NRC 2.206 Response: Junk Safety Valves At Indian Point

Basically Gov Cuomo notified his citizens on March 29 of this. The outage began March 7. Isn't my complaint perfectly timed. The NRC's responce is dated March 25 and the baffle bolt problem emerged on March 29.  
Indian Point nuclear power plant shutdown after inspectors discover 'missing' bolts from reactor
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 11:04 PM
The Indian Point nuclear power plant will stay shut after inspectors discovered that more than 200 stainless steel bolts were “faulty” or “missing” from a reactor, officials said. 

Entergy Corp., which runs the facility north of New York City, said there was no threat to public safety or health.
Operators had already shut down the plant for a planned outage. They said the bolt setback will keep the site offline for several more weeks. 

Gov. Cuomo said the issue was the latest in a series of incidents that raises concerns about the plant’s management, a sentiment echoed by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowery (D-Westchester). 

“If we can’t trust that the bolts that hold the reactors together are secure, how can we trust that the plant is safe and secure?” she said in a statement.
“It’s too dangerous for Entergy to let maintenance fall behind at this nuclear facility that is situated in the middle of the most densely populated area of the country just miles from New York City.”
Runaway Main Steam Safety Valves (MSSV)Tech Spec Lift Settings 
I think the magnitude of the failures at Indian Point sits outside the experiences of any other plant in the USA. There are other manufacturers supplying similar valves  to other plants who never report and tech spec failures.

It will be interesting this outage if more MSSVs are failed according to tech specs. 

He never answered why the failures ramped up in 2009? These is massively defective maintenence and a defective design.

I got to give great credit to the NRC with answering me, more important putting it on the docket for everyone to see.    


March 25, 2016

Mr. Michael Mulligan
P.O. Box 161
Hinsdale, NH 03451
Dear Mr. Mulligan:

This letter is in response to your letter dated February 4, 2016, to Mr. Victor M. Mccree, Executive Director for Operations, of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), regarding main steam safety valve (MSSV) failures at both the Indian Point and Shearon Harris nuclear power plant facilities. Your letter addresses multiple licensee event reports (LERs) where surveillance testing identified that the lift settings of MSSVs were found to be outside of the technical specification (TS) allowed tolerance. Your letter asserts that there has been an unexplained increase in the number of MSSVs failures due to setpoint drift since 2009 and that NRC generic communications on this subject are out-of-date and nonresponsive to your perceived industry trends. Specifically, you requested that your concerns be reviewed pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 2.206, "Requests for action under this subpart," and the following actions be taken:
  •  Perform an immediate special inspection of MSSV failures at Indian Point; 
  •  Issue a new NRC Information Notice on MSSV failures; and 
  • Require that Indian Point immediately eradicate any problems associated with MSSVs up to, and including, a plant shutdown.

The NRC staff has reviewed your letter against the criteria of NRC Management Directive 8.11, "Review Process for 10 CFR 2.206 Petitions" (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML041770328), and concludes that it does not meet the threshold for review under 10 CFR 2.206 because the issues you raised have already been the subject of staff review and have been resolved. Therefore, the staff rejects your request to review your letter pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206.

Since your letter focused on Indian Point, the following discussion is based upon the Indian
Point plant design, the LERs identified in your letter, and the associated NRC staff review.

Steam Generator Safety Relief Valves 
Each Indian Point unit has 5 safety relief valves installed on piping connected to each of the 4 steam generators. Therefore, there are 20 relief valves to remove steam from the generators during a plant accident or transient event. These valves are installed in a high pressure, high temperature and high vibration (due to steam flow) environment. As a result, testing and adequate maintenance are required to ensure the operability of the valves.

The design of the valves ensures that the steam system, including the secondary side of the steam generators, transient maximum pressure does not exceed 110 percent of the system design pressure during accident or transient events. This is the standard requirement for relief regulations in 10 CFR 50.55a require following the ASME Code. For Indian Point, the system design pressure is 1170.5 pounds per square inch gauge (psig), resulting in a maximum transient pressure of 1287 psig. Additionally, the relief valves are designed, such that, they together have the capacity to relieve 108 percent of design steam flow, which exceeds the design limit of 102 percent steam flow relief capacity assumed in the plant's safety analysis. Indian Point steam generator relief valves are nominally set at 1065, 1080, 1095, 1110 and 1120 psig. Valves are set at different pressures to prevent rapid cycling that could occur if multiple valves opened at the same time. The TSs at Indian Point and the ASME Code require that, when the valves are placed in service, they are set within +/- 1 percent of these values.

After the valves are in service, they are required to be tested per the ASME Code requirement.The "as found" test limit of+/- 3 percent for each valve, is listed in the TSs, and is an ASME Code requirement. Valves that are found to be outside of this limit are required to be declared inoperable and corrective actions taken to restore them to an operable status. The maximum allowed "as found" + 3 percent limit is 1153.6 psig.

Test Results 
A review of the test results discussed in LE Rs 2009-002 (Unit 3), 2010-002 (Unit 2), 2011-004 (Unit 3), 2012-005 (Unit 2) and 2015-002 (Unit 3) for Indian Point found that there was no safety impact as a result of the MSSV failures. In all cases, although the valves failed the acceptance criteria, all of the valves lifted below the system design pressure limit of 1170.5 psig and well below the transient design limit of 1287 psig. Additionally, in all cases adequate steam relief capacity was maintained.

Corrective Actions 
The ASME Code and NRC regulations require that test failures be evaluated and corrective actions taken to address degraded conditions. Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., the licensee, has taken multiple short and long term corrective actions to address the failures including:

  • • Immediate valve disassembly and inspection, expansion of testing to include valves not initially scheduled for testing, and resetting valve setpoints to within +/- 1 percent tolerances.

  •  Changed preventive maintenance valve overhaul schedules were changed from an 8-year to a 6-year periodicity.

  •  Changed Unit 3 testing interval so that all valves are tested every 2 years (previously 4 years testing requirement) until modifications are completed. Completed modifications to 7 of the 20 valves.

  •  Finally, development and implementation of permanent design modifications including installing bronze wear sleeves to limit spindle wear.

The test data was reviewed and the NRC staff concludes there is no safety concern related to the performance of the MSSVs. Based on the test results, the staff determined the valves would have operated such that the design pressure of the main steam system would not have been exceeded.

The NRC staff has reviewed each of these failures and associated corrective actions as part of the reactor oversight baseline inspection program. Each LER was reviewed and in some cases NRC enforcement action was taken. Licensee identified violations are discussed in inspection reports dated May 11, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. ML 101310350), August 23, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. ML 102240597), and August 9, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML 112212055). Severity Level IV violations are discussed in inspection reports dated August 9, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML 12222A131) and August 7, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML 15222A186). Finally, a non-cited violation is discussed in the inspection dated August 7, 2015 cited above. Corrective actions performed or scheduled by the licensee were found to be acceptable.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Douglas Pickett at (301) 415-1364 or by e-mail at

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Junk Plant Indian Point: IAEA Says Maintenance Philosophy is "Run To Failure"?

Updated 4/2

Many plants have reconfigured their core into a upflow design. Why didn't Indian do this???
"To date, baffle bolt cracking was observed only in the “down-flow” design."

***So everyone knew baffle-reformer bolts degradation was a direct threat to safety in the 1980s. They knew the mechanism was related to radiation exposure in 1980s. While Indian Point waited until a 2016 outage to preform their first inspection? Is this being safety conservative. They knew it was a difficult and expensive job, a high potential for extending a outage, so their priority system kept putting off replacing the bolts. 

It goes to the question how these plants will enter into end-of-life? Will a plant end its life as a grand old lady who served society's greater purpose or will they shutdown under a national scandal? Will the permanent shutdown scandals proliferate further depressing the USA's public Nuclear Power approval rate? With a low public approval rate, can you imagine the hay the politicians and their competitors can make with this as a election issue. 
Remember Indian Point is a special case. The giant state governor is out to shutdown the plant. They have been negatively in the news with problems for years. This makes the plant highly susceptible to magnifying and amplifying events at the plant. Will controversy ruin the rest of Entergy's nuclear fleet in the eyes of the NRC and Wall Street.
What will a cascade accident look like. When large percentages of our population through the media panic uncontrollable. When nobody can control outcome like TMI. Here comes massive re-regulations? 
This is going to have very expensive implications at other plants.     

7.5.1. General 

In 1980’s inspections indicated baffle bolts cracking. The bolts are made of 316 cold worked stainless steels. They failed by intergranular cracking. Normally, 316 steel is not prone to IGSCC in this water environment and all the bolts cracked were located in the second and third rows from the bottom, that is exactly the place corresponding to the highest neutron 48 irradiation. This demonstrates that the neutron irradiation is a significant feature for this cracking, even if the exact mechanism is unknown now. It is difficult to conclude whether the bolts cracked by IASCC, or due to irradiation embrittlement, or by other IGSCC phenomena. To date, baffle bolt cracking was observed only in the “down-flow” design.

This cracking is a concern and made necessary the development of ultrasonic methods for the non destructive examination of the bolts. Table 13 shows Baffle-Former Bolts inspection results in some IAEA Member States.

…Creep is a function of stress level, temperature and time at temperature. Fast neutron exposure enhances austenitic stainless steels to creep. Some creep/relaxation of baffle bolts has been observed during testing and replacement of baffle bolts in the USA, France, Japan, and Belgium.

…IAEA-TECDOC-1119 documented ageing assessment and management practices for PWR reactor vessel internals (RVIs) that were current at the time of its finalization in 1998. It concluded that while irradiation assisted stress corrosion cracking (IASCC) of PWR internals ad not been observed for structural components globally so far, it may be of concern with time. After the issuance of the TECDOC, an inspection of baffle bolts in the United States discovered cracking in two of the four plants inspected. As the baffle and former assembly provides an interface between the core and the core barrel region and is important to safety because it provides a high concentration of the reactor coolant flow in the core region, IASCC on the baffle-former bolts is of safety concern. In addition, swelling (void formation), which was not addressed in IAEA-TECDOC-1119, could become an issue in PWR internals because of low displacement rates and increased temperature due to gamma heating. Concern of fretting wear of control rod guide tubes has also been raised in Japan. These events led to new ageing management actions by both NPP operators and regulators. Therefore it was recognized that IAEA-TECDOC-1119 should be updated by incorporating those new events and their countermeasures.

Indian Point Junk; 1998 Pernicious Engineering Certainty/ Uncertainty Fraud

I'll make the case the scale of the degraded, failed, and missing bolts is unprecedented in the history of the nuclear industry. Why were their evaluations so far off? How can you trust any of their self serving safety evaluations?

So now they will have to check all the bolts or replace them. 

This document says the industry seen degradation of the bolts in a French reactor in 1988. 

Remember the baffle plates last year in North Anna, the space between the plates has been increasing over the years from some unknown phenomena. Flow through these plates has increased and caused fuel damaged from flow vibrations. They had some interactions with mixed fuel plants.   
Information Notice No. 98-11: Cracking of Reactor Vessel Internal Baffle Former Bolts in Foreign Plants 
March 25, 1998
All holders of operating licenses for pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) except those who have permanently ceased operation and have certified that fuel has been permanently removed from the reactor vessel. 
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information notice to alert addressees to the cracking of reactor vessel internal baffle former bolts (see Figures 1 and 2) found at several foreign PWRs and to inform addressees of actions taken and planned by domestic PWR owners groups in response to this experience. It is expected that the recipients will review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar problems. However, suggestions contained in this information notice are not NRC requirements; IN 98-11 
Description of Circumstances 
Reactor vessel internals are structures located within the reactor vessel that support and orient the reactor fuel assemblies and direct coolant flow through the core. The core baffle is part of the internals structure, which consists of vertical plates that surround the outer faces of the peripheral fuel assemblies. The baffle directs coolant flow through the core. The vertical plates are bolted to the edges of horizontal former plates that are bolted to the inside surface of the core barrel. There are typically eight levels of former plates located at various elevations within the core barrel. The bolts that secure the baffle plates to the former plates are referred to as "baffle former bolts." 
European plants identified the cracking of baffle former bolts as early as 1988 and this problem continues to occur. Although this cracking is not fully understood, testing of cracked bolts suggests an age-related intergranular stress-corrosion cracking process influenced by bolt material, fluence, stress, and temperature. The reported cracking occurred in 316 cold-worked stainless steel bolts. Most of the cracking reported has been in four French 900-MWe (megawatt electric) PWRs. 
An investigation of the cracking was discussed in a paper contained in the Proceedings of the International Symposium Fontevraud III, dated September 12-16, 1994, held at the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, France. The symposium paper reports that the cracking of baffle former bolts seems to be limited to the first six PWRs operated by Electricit√© de France (EDF), which are all of the same design and are identified as the "CPO" series. Further, the paper reports that bolt cracking has not been seen in the other French 900-MWe plants (the "CPY" series), or in the 1300-MWe plants. The paper notes that there are differences between the two series with regard to bolt design, bolt material, operating conditions, and reactor coolant flow paths. Some plants in both groups have been in operation for approximately the same number of hours. The plants which reported the greatest number of cracked bolts are Fessenheim Unit 2 and Bugey Unit 2, both of which are CPO series plants. The number of cracked bolts identified at these plants are 29 and 54, respectively. All of the baffle former bolts (960) in each plant were tested ultrasonically. 
At the foreign plants, ultrasonic testing was performed to assess the integrity of the baffle former bolts. Five bolts were removed from the Bugey Unit 2 baffle assembly for a detailed investigation of the degradation process. One of the bolts was found to be broken, three were found to be cracked, and one was found to be sound. The conclusions reached in the symposium paper are that (1) baffle bolt cracking has been limited to plants of the same design (CPO series), (2) bolt cracking has occurred predominantly in zones of fluence and maximum temperature, (3) in the zones of maximum fluence, bolt cracking is found predominantly in the bolts under the highest mechanical stress, and (4) bolt cracking has occurred in some plants although not in other plants of the same design, a phenomenon that may be a consequence of varying bolt metallurgical properties and plant operating conditions. 
The NRC is not aware of cracking of baffle former bolts in domestic PWRs. Domestic reactor baffle former bolts are subject to the visual inservice inspection requirements of
***So the NRC in 1998 says normal refueling inspection(remote viewing) will catch bolt missing and degradation bolts...why was the NRC so wrong??? This is no doubt pernicious engineer fraud: certainty/uncertainty gaming is going on. Basically a profit centered honor system. The system turns massive engineering uncertainty into absolute public certainty. This is a natural product of a non transparent system and a industry having too much political power.    

Check out how terrible is the private self serving code authority of the ASME, this is a 1998 NRC document...they finally do the first inspection in 2016 and finding massive damage.

I'll bet you in past outages Entergy seen the bolts in other areas of the coolant, bottom of the core...knew what they were and choose to operate without understanding what is going on. 

As far as the noise parts monitor...I am sure they knew they had loose parts in the core. Usually the loose parts monitor has a lot of false positive. Imagine shutting down a plant and rip the core apart, and finding out it was just a bad loose parts detectors. So these guys set the alarm so high they can't hear nothing. 

This is a Fukushima style event. Nobody could image a 9.0 earthquake could occur and the meltdowns would destroy a nation's fleet of nuclear plants. The industry could only imagine a few bolts degraded or loose in the plant speaking to the industry representatives, while in Indian Point have many hundreds are degraded or missing bolts. 

What happens if a large section of the baffle plates create a huge opening in the plates while at power. I see massive fuel damage. Basically the opening in the baffle plates creates dp across the core, reducing cooling from the steam generator. It would instantly destroy the nuclear facility. Do irreparable damage to the world wide industry. You wouldn't get any off site dose, but it would be a bigger than TMI public relations and political disaster. This would quickly shut down a lot of plants. I imagine all the cooling systems would bypass some of their cooling flow through the baffle hole.      
Section XI of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. However, the baffle bolt cracking reported in foreign PWRs has occurred at the juncture of the bolt head and the shank, which is not accessible for visual inspection. 
Domestic PWR owners groups have met with the NRC staff to report on their current and planned activities regarding the potential for baffle bolt cracking in domestic PWRs. The details of those meetings are discussed below. 
The Westinghouse Owners Group (WOG) provided an assessment of the cracking of the baffle former bolts identified in foreign PWRs, including the potential impact of cracking on domestic Westinghouse plants, and provided information on its current and planned activities. The WOG stated that because of the large number of baffle former bolts in the baffle assembly, the failure of a few bolts should not have a significant safety impact. The WOG activities include (1) development of analytical methods and acceptance criteria for bolt analysis, (2) performance of risk-informed evaluations, (3) performance of analysis for three plant groupings (2-loop, 3-loop, and 4-loop) of what constitutes acceptable bolting, (4) continued participation in domestic and foreign related activities, (5) preparation of bid specifications for bolt inspection equipment, and (6) preparations for bolt inspection and replacement. The WOG identified lead plant candidates for the 2-loop and 3-loop groups and a proposed inspection schedule for each group. The WOG indicated that the bolt material used in the 2-loop group is 347 stainless steel and the bolt material used in the 3-loop group is 316 cold-worked stainless steel.
The Babcock and Wilcox (B&W) Owners Group (B&WOG) provided information on its current and planned activities to address the potential for cracking of baffle former bolts in domestic B&W plants, including a presentation of its "Plant Licensing Reactor Vessel Internals Aging Management Program." The B&WOG provided a preliminary determination that bolt cracking is not considered a significant safety issue for B&W plants. This determination is based upon knowledge of the baffle and bolting designs involved and is supported by conservative analyses that assume both normal-operating and maximum accident-loading conditions. The B&WOG activities include (1) collection and evaluation of available inspection and material data, (2) development and qualification of replacement bolt materials, and (3) preparation of a possible baffle bolt inspection on a lead plant during the next 10-year inservice inspection interval. The B&WOG indicated that the bolt material used in B&W plants is 304 stainless steel.
The Combustion Engineering (CE) Owners Group (CEOG) provided an assessment of the cracking of the baffle former bolts reported in foreign PWRs, including the potential impact of the cracking on domestic CE plants. The CEOG believes that the most likely mechanism for the cracking of cold-worked 316 stainless steel baffle former bolts in foreign plants is irradiation- assisted stress-corrosion cracking (IASCC). The CEOG indicated that only two of its plants use bolts to attach the core shroud panels (i.e., the baffle plates) to the former plates. The CEOG believes that these two plants are less susceptible to IASCC because of several design differences: (1) the material used in these bolts is annealed 316 stainless steel, which is not cold worked; (2) the bolt stress from preload, as a percentage of yield strength, is much less than the EDF plants; (3) the differential pressure across the core shroud panels does not result in tensile loads on the panel (i.e., the baffle) bolts during normal operation; and (4) the core shroud panel design allows for some flexing of the former plate relative to the core barrel, thus effectively reducing the load on the panel bolts. 
This information notice requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact one of the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager.

 Original /s/'d by D.B. Matthews
 Jack W. Roe, Acting Director
Division of Reactor Program Management
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Junk Plant Indian Point Baffle Former: They Will Never Restart the Plant

I blame this on governor Cuomo. He jumps up and down like a madman railing about the recent problems at Indian Point and nothing ever changers. He doesn't effectively use his political powers. 
***Their aging management  system through campaign contribution is severely flawed. 
Most people in the USA in a new Gallup poll disapprove of Nuclear power...does this even make them more vulnerable? 
There is a well know corrosion problem with these bolts, many plants had to fish bolts out of the coolant system.

***They are supposed to replace the will be worst if the new bolts failed.
***Why didn't the loose parts monitor inside the core pick up all the circulating broken bolts???
Look up these terms,
Baffle former
Baffle Jetting  
Most plants have changed the flow around the baffle plates. What is it a upflow conversion.
Bottom line, Entergy-Indian point is going to be implicated in not doing the industry and Westinghouse required inspections associated with the baffle plates and their bolting.
Has there been fuel damage?
Steam generator damage?
Pipe damage or other associated with bolts loose in the coolant.
Acceptable Baffle-former Bolt Pattern Analysis for Reactor Internals Evaluation
Lower Internals Upflow Conversion

Their licence renewal shows a vulnerability. 

Page 17 and 18?

You get the

Attribute OJescriptlon
Scope Efects of ,racking caused by fatigue, irradiation-in luced cianges in
material properties, and irradiation-induced changes in stresses
Surveillance a Visual inspection per Examineition Calegory B.N-3 of ASME Sqction Xl,
Techniques Subsection IWB and Draft Subsection IWG
. LoosE parts detection monitoring system
& Augmented inspections
Frequency a Monitor with loose paits detection system
0 ASME Section Xl requirements, IWB-2410, -24111, -2412, -2420, -2430
and Draft IWG-2410, .2420, and -243)
• Perform sample baseline inspections prior to l.R term with enhanced
frequency in accordance with corrective actions
Acceptance Criteria # No loose parts from barre/fonrner bolt assemlt,ly and
9 Fatigue management program in Figure 4-1 and
6 Number of acceptable bolts and location a the minimum number and
location requilvd to maintain core coolability and DNBR within CLB
limits, or, if needed, for JCO, number of acceptable bolts and location a
than JCO assumptions.
Correctie Actions The following courses of action depend on the boll conditkin detennined biy
the monitoring and inspection progirams:
. Supplemental examinations, analytical justifications or
repair/replacement when relevant conditions are detected
* Visual inspecJons, augmented inspections (e.g., ultrasonic inspectiont),
analytical justificationi or repadr/replac:ement when barTel/formar bolt
assembly Iooise parts are detced
* Adjustment of frequency of inspections and coverage
A"n alysis (e.g., fractunm mechanics techniques, risk-based technology,
advanced thermal/hydraulic methodo0gies)
SB olt rsplaceffent of a sample set so the existing bolts with incications
may be analyzed (materials testing) and the row bolti; monitored
* Follow action; prescrbed in fatigue rrmagerrent program
Conf:Tation Aiceptabils performance per
* Loose parts rnonitorirg program
0 Augmented examinatons (e.g., ultrasonic examinations)
• Analylical jusificatlon


Columbia's First Scram in Six years?

It sure sounds like Columbia was putting production over safety. 
Cooling problem shuts down nuclear plant near Richland
RICHLAND, Wash. — A power company shut down a nuclear plant in south-central Washington state after operators received an indication that a system used to cool equipment wasn't working.
Energy Northwest spokesman John Dobken said early Tuesday that no radiation was released from Columbia Generating Station near Richland, and no danger to the public was created.
He told The Associated Press that officials hope to restart the plant sometime this week.
The Tri-City Herald reported that the plant was shut down Monday after operators were alerted to problems with the system that uses water to provide cooling to heat exchangers and pumps, including those that control the power level of the reactor.
Energy Northwest said it appeared a water system valve may
This doesn't make since with the valve being out of position. Why didn't the valve being out of position scram the plant last week? Is it employee sabotage? Is it management trying to put a shadow over the whistleblowers by tripping the plant?  
not have been in the right position. An investigation has begun.
The last time the plant had an unplanned shutdown was in November 2009, when hydraulic fluid leaked.

VY "Securitas"

This is a Swedish company. Doesn't Entergy love America? Why can't Entergy hire an American company?

They are having Union problem with their mid level managers indicating they are the low cost security service provider?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Everyone Worried About Belgium Nuclear Plants

Update 3/27

So far only people needed to run the plant are allowed on site. They don't trust the background checks on the 800 employees who support the plant. They have hired hard core terrorist who have worked in the plant. Can you even imagine that happening in the USA?

Remember outside Belgium, there has been intense pressure to shutdown these troublesome plants. There are too old and obsolete to be in operation. I cannot imagine any of these plant making money or paying for themselves in the last two years with all the safety shutdowns.

I can see one of these guys getting into a serious accident because their troops at the site are being distracted from paying attention to problems at the plant and the support people not doing their jobs. 

So now Europeans now got a lot of fear in them and they are all going to be pissed at the ineffectiveness of their governments. They got as big a problem with institutions and weak government failures as us. So what comes out now eventually, is the people are going to be angry with their government? How will government respond to great public anger? Will they scrap-goat the nukes because their institutions are ineffective?            

Drudge: Belgium fears Nuclear plant TargetGuard Murdered; Security Pass stolen

I don't think the terrorist got a chance of getting through the secuity of a Belgium nuclear plant. They don't got the capabilities for that. All bets are off if they got heavy weapons.  
Belgium Fears Nuclear Plants Are Vulnerable 
BRUSSELS — As a dragnet aimed at Islamic State operatives spiraled across Brussels and into at least five European countries on Friday, the authorities were also focusing on a narrower but increasingly alarming threat: the vulnerability of Belgium’s nuclear installations. 
The investigation into this week’s deadly attacks in Brussels has prompted worries that the Islamic State is seeking to attack, infiltrate or sabotage nuclear installations or obtain nuclear or radioactive material. This is especially worrying in a country with a history of security lapses at its nuclear facilities, a weak intelligence apparatus and a deeply rooted terrorist network. 
On Friday, the authorities stripped security badges from several workers at one of two plants where all nonessential employees had been sent home hours after the attacks at the Brussels airport and one of the city’s busiest subway stations three days earlier. Video footage of a top official at another Belgian nuclear facility was discovered last year in the apartment of a suspected militant linked to the extremists who unleashed the horror in Paris in November…

Belgium steps up security at nuclear sites in wake of attacks 
Military presence increased at Tihange and Doel plants as officials continue previous investigation of a secret video shot by man linked to Paris attacks Belgian authorities have stepped up security at nuclear sites but safety officials said there was no concrete element to suggest a specific threat against the country’s reactors or plants. 
Secret video footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official was found in November at the home of a Belgian man, Mohamed Bakkali, suspected to be part of the logistics network for November’s Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
The 10-hour video, shot by a hidden camera in a bush, showed a senior nuclear official coming and going out of his home in the Flanders region. 
Belgian investigators have not said whether the video suggested any specific threat to an individual or to a nuclear site. The inquiry is ongoing. 
Bakkali has been in prison since his arrest in November and investigators are looking at whether he had links to the Bakraoui brothers who blew themselves up in this week’s suicide-bomb attacks on a Brussels airport and metro station which killed 31 people...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Junk Nuclear Plant Safety Culture: Why did Columbia and Watts Bar Emerge in 2015

This is a severe problem...why didn't the NRC shutdown the plant until the intimidation climate is proven clear. As deterrence to everyone else?
March 23, 2016
EA-16-061 Mr. Joseph P. Grimes Chief Nuclear Officer and Executive Vice President 1101 Market Street 3R Lookout Place Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801


Dear Mr. Grimes:  

As discussed during the public meeting held on March 22, 2016 in the RII office (ML16083A403), we initiated a review in late 2015 at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant into the environment for raising and addressing safety issues. We began this review in
It sounds like somebody made a complaint to the NRC...the NRC didn't pick it up on their own.
light of information received through our inspection and allegations process associated with the Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) within the Operations Department and its influence on the safe operation of the plant. Our review includes information received through allegations, inspections, and interviews of your staff over the past few months. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has concluded that a Chilled Work
The Ops department is the lead department in the organization.
Environment exists in the Operations Department because of a perception that operators are not free to raise safety concerns using all available avenues without fear of retaliation. We have not identified any serious safety violations or instances involving significant plant safety issues, but the information gathered has led to concerns about the impact the work environment is having on plant operations and raises questions about your commitment to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. We want to ensure that TVA has a clear understanding of the scope of our concerns and to communicate specific requests and expectations for your response.

The Safety Culture Policy Statement (76 FR 34773; June 14, 2011) sets forth the Commission's expectation that licensees establish and maintain a positive safety culture commensurate with the safety and security significance of their activities and the nature and complexity of their organizations and functions. The NRC defines nuclear safety culture as the core values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. A safety conscious work environment is defined by the NRC as an environment in which “employees feel free to raise safety concerns, both to their management and to the NRC, without fear of retaliation” and is one trait of a strong safety culture. NRC Regulatory Issue Summary 05-018, “Guidance for Establishing and Maintaining a Safety Conscious Work Environment,” dated August 25, 2005, further describes the NRC’s expectations in this area.

 We have gathered information in a number of areas which, to varying degrees, calls into question whether management is open to safety concerns raised by operators, whether there is a proper
It sounds like the same problem as Columbia: "We found no indication the sole focus of the team was on generation, not to say that was not considered" or "evidence senior plant management did not "keep the plant operating at all cost".
“safety-first” focus during plant operations, and whether your corrective action program and Employee Concerns Program (ECP) have been effective at identifying and resolving these issues. The NRC has determined there is sufficient evidence to support the existence of an environment within the Operations Department where your employees do not feel free to raise safety concerns to your management because they fear retaliation and do not feel that their concerns are being addressed. Our concern is heightened by information that indicates undue influence and direction of licensed operators from sources external to the control room affected operational performance. We are concerned an environment
Sounds like the SRO made the complaint.
exists where control room operations may be influenced by management in a manner that undermines licensed senior operator responsibility for directing licensed activities.

More broadly, we are concerned that a fear of retaliation exists to the extent that it is impeding open communication within the Operations Department. We have concerns that the current environment is impacting the normal processes designed to identify such issues and effect changes in affected aspects of the site safety culture. Our reviews found that information from the corrective action program, the ECP, and other sources, have provided opportunities for management to identify changes in certain aspects of the safety culture and SCWE, but the information has not been fully acknowledged and acted upon.

The NRC considers it vital for TVA to assess the climate at the Watts Bar station, address the root causes that allowed the chilled work environment to exist, and take steps to ensure the staff at Watts Bar are willing to openly participate in the process. We note that a Confirmatory Order (EA-09-009, EA-09-203) remains in effect to confirm commitments made by TVA for all three nuclear stations to address past SCWE issues. In summary, we request that you conduct your own in-depth assessment, and we acknowledge that surveys and evaluations recently conducted or directed by TVA might form part of such an assessment. We ask that you provide your plan of action for addressing this matter to the NRC within 30 days of the date of this letter. Included in your plan we request you: 1) describe any immediate/short term actions which provide reassurance of acceptable performance during completion of your in-depth assessment; 2) describe how the in-depth assessment will be/was conducted by persons independent of the organization affected; 3) evaluate effectiveness of the implementation of Confirmatory Order (EA-09-009, EA-09-203) requirements relative to the current conditions; 4) detail how you will address the potential extent of condition in organizations outside of Operations; 5) describe any associated corrective actions and how you will measure the effectiveness of any corrective actions; and 6) describe how you will address past effectiveness of your corrective action program and ECP. Additionally, we request you promptly notify the members of the workforce of the issuance of this letter.  

Approximately two weeks after we receive your action plan, we would like to meet with you again to discuss this matter in more detail, so that we may plan for appropriate NRC monitoring and follow-up. 

Terrorist Planning To Destroy Belgium Nuclear Plants

Update 3/25
Nuclear Staff Lose Access After Brussels Attacks

Belgian media reports said 11 staff had their badges withdrawn at the Tihange plant.
If the Europeans don't have the laws to protect their own society, how are they going to protect their own nuclear plants?
Brussels bombers DID plan to attack nuclear power station as police uncover 12 hours of footage jihadists filmed outside a plant director's home
  • Investigators found 12 hours of footage filmed by the jihadi cell in Brussels
  • It included film of the Belgian nuclear power chief's home in Flanders
  • It has now emerged the creators of the footage were the Bakraoui brothers
  • The footage was seized following the Paris terror attacks in November
The Brussels terrorists were preparing an attack on a nuclear power plant and had recorded 12 hours of reconnaissance footage, it has been reported. 
The ISIS cell were spying on Belgium's nuclear power chief, possibly as part of a kidnap plan to force him to let them into an atomic facility, according to newspaper Derniere Heure. 
Hours of film of the home of the Research and Development Director of the Belgian Nuclear Programme were discovered in an apartment in Brussels raided by anti-terrorist police following the attack in Paris. 
The footage confounded investigators at first - as it showed the entrance to the director’s home in Flanders, an area outside the capital.
But detectives made the chilling deduction that the group was attempting to gain entry to an atomic facility after watching all 12 hours of footage, which included images of a local bus. 
Armed troops were sent to defend French and Belgian nuclear facilities following the discovery and both countries nuclear programmes were put on the highest state of alert.
Reports of the plan first emerged as early as February and was at that time linked back to the cell responsible for the Paris attacks. 
The footage was discovered 'as part of seizures made following the Paris attacks,' a Belgian prosecutor said, refusing to divulge the individual's identity 'for obvious security reasons'. 
At the time, Belgium's federal agency for nuclear control stressed the importance of not revealing the name of the person involved so as 'not to endanger the enquiry or nuclear security' or indeed the person involved and their family.  
The images were captured by a camera hidden in nearby bushes and recovered by two suspects who left the area in a vehicle with the lights off, Derniere Heure reported.  
However, reports in February did not publicly name Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui - the brothers we now know are responsible for the Brussels bombings - as the creators of the footage. 
The claims give further credence to the links now established, at least publicly, between the Paris and Brussels bombings.
The bombings in the Belgian capital on Tuesday which killed 31 people are now believed to have been carried out because the authorities were closing in on the fugitive members of the terror cell.

Junk Plant Columbia Cover-Up: No Head at the Top of the Organization

Energy Northwest is governed by two boards: an executive board and a board of directors. The executive board has 11 members: five representatives from the board of directors, three gubernatorial appointees and three public representatives selected by the board of directors. The board of directors includes a representative from each member utility.
March 23, 2016